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From the ADSIllinois President

Changes in Our Organization:
The word Shoah is our word for Holocaust. Just as we have moved forward by
renaming our group, we need to move forward in thought and action. We are
looking to include the children of children who have less and less connection to
the history of the major heart rending attempt to destroy our people. We not only
need to face this challenge but to look ahead and try to see how we play a role
in a Legacy for future generations. Although we feel close to each other, share
some of the senses of outrage, pain, suffering and disgust at what happened
to our parents, it did not happen to us. We only hear of the stories and pass them
on second hand. We cannot leave the story strictly to academicians and would
like to be involved in the teaching of the cruelty and the pure evil that occurred.
Most of us know more about the fact that we missed growing up with
grandparents and various otherextended members of the family that we lost
and live with the upset feelings on a continual basis.

M any of us are well past the hurt, group sessions and discussions that have beat
the subject like a dead horse and there are those that have just recently come
to grips with that perspective. For those well past this it is hard to look back and
review, relive and rehash old battles or conversations that have been pursued for
well over 20 years and for those individuals we may have less of a purpose that
will immediately be recognized! At least, that is what I have heard and it is a
negative perspective. The social aspect of associating together was OK when
we were mostly a large group of single people and that is certainly not true now.
Some of us disagree and would still like to associate because often there are
spouses that are not Descendents and are missing that background, comfort and
interest. This is who we are and we need to keep that with us and maintain this
piece of ourselves to be well rounded. Some of us disagree with the negative
perspective because we could still find time between our own concerns with
family and friends to get together with our own and feel comfort in our
commonality, culture and gather to improve connection and develop our own little
community. Some of our parents did this and it helped them to move forward,
deal with life’s issues and why should we not use this lemon of a history and
make this our lemonade. Let’s use this as a tool to move into life with a sense of
kinship. Many of us lost lots of family and this becomes our extended family. We
also have a new sense of responsibility. As we move forward it falls to our
shoulders to carry on with “Remembrance” and creating the structure that is
sustainable. We have much to do. We have the 2002 Legacy Conference follow
up with hundreds of new leads of potential interested individuals in what we do
and we need new active leaders to come forward to help to work with follow-up.

Our organization has been through a process of re-creation since the old entity
called the Association of Children of Holocaust Survivors went through official
corporate dissolution, due to lack of follow through on paperwork. We re-created
the organization and named it the Association of Descendents of the
Shoah-Illinois Inc. We thought through that process by adding Descendents and
all future generations after 2G’s are included as member candidates.

We need to be available to accept new roles as leaders in commemoration and
remembrance ceremonies as we are asked to assist. We need to develop new
additional contacts, connections and interests to create a memorable image of
our perspective to the public. We need to bring in newer or not currently
connected individuals to be a part of future leadership role acceptance and
increase the image to be a valued and sought after kind of position for the future
continued existence of our values. We need to decide and develop a new
recognition of the challenges of our time and deal with the similarities of now and
1933 and work along with all our strength and all our allies in the Jewish and
other communities to reverse that potential outcome before it is recreated. There
are tremendous needs and challenges, but as we face them we also can look
back at a year which honors the efforts and successes that took an organization
from non-existence and just a little “gathering group” with less than half a dozen
paid members to an organization with well over 100 current paid members and
well over 600 on a mailing list. We need to double this situation many times
over in order to have the energy to keep meeting the challenges we face. Even
more needed, will be new, additional faces, names and presences at our board,
planning and general meetings. We must find ways to respond to the various
challenges and this all takes time energy and people. We recently have been
honored to have 3rd generation involvement and seek to form a "3G Council",
which is seeking members to actively attend and volunteer to lead us into the
future and begin to take leadership roles on today! Do you want to know more?
Look for the scheduling of that and other meetings of interest in the future. We
need and hope to hear from many of you that are ready and open to come to our
meetings and consider this your formal invitation to do so.

I am sure many have noticed, that I have spent little space and time reviewing our
fiscal condition or little related to our technical matters. We are looking forward to
stressing the importance of inclusion of you, the members, in the larger expanded
inner circle of leadership and dealing with the challenges of the future with your
help and participation. This means attending our general meetings, where there
is often discussion of theme, direction of the organization, response to public
issues which require more attention and of course we still have the various routine
parties such as the June 15 picnic and the Chanukah party in December. There
is nothing, no past dealings or personality conflicts that are relevant to be able to
prevent participation. I feel confident that we can be sure of that. Take the time
and participate and I will prove that I am right. I hope that was enough guilt for
everyone. Well, this lecture worked in my family. Best wishes for a productive
ADSI year to all!

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